Cooking and Communication
How Your Kitchen is the Next Best Place for Speech and Language Development!
When practicing speech and language skills, it is important to make it practical and engaging for your child. Research shows that young children learn by experience. Play is the most meaningful when it is child-directed and relevant. Most children enjoy playing with food, exploring different foods, and of course, eating food! Cooking at home is not only a great way to promote a healthy relationship with food, but it also provides a space for targeting your child’s speech and language goals. And the best part? This experience is intrinsically part of your everyday life. Who isn’t in the kitchen?
The following are a few of many ways one recipe can promote speech and language development!
- Following Directions
- Problem Solving
- Answering -wh questions
- Introduce new vocabulary
- Expanding utterances
- Practicing misarticulated speech sounds
One benefit to cooking with your child is practicing following directions. Say to your child “pour the milk” or “pour the milk, then mix the ingredients.” While teaching them to use good listening ears, you are also exposing them to words used for sequencing such as “first….then.” Following directions is not only important in the kitchen, it is essential to everyday life!
Secondly, the kitchen is a great platform for expanding your child’s vocabulary. From prepositions and action words, to adjectives and learning about categories, the options are endless! Talk with your child about what they see and feel. This also provides exposure to pairing specific gestures with action words, such as mixing.
Lastly, if your child is struggling with some of their speech sounds, it is likely their speech sounds will be found in the kitchen. For example, you can find the /s/ sound in “utensils”, “silverware”, “slicing”, “soft”, “soapy”, and more! In addition, if your child says, “this is a potato”, you can also expand their utterance by saying “this is a big potato!”
Mr. Rogers’ once said, “Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” Give your child the opportunity to practice their speech and language skills today by heading to your kitchen. Have fun!
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